Baila Room



What motivates dancers to create, to move, to channel all that passion into an eight count? Join me, Ilias Benz, Salsa Black Belt and owner of Baila Productions as I dive deep into the performing arts world. Find out what makes dancers and creators tick, why some of us choose to go pro or teach and live life on our own terms. For lessons off the dance floor, step into the Baila Room.


  • Reverse Culture Shock - Featuring Russell Rodgers

    18/05/2020 Duration: 01h30min

    In this podcast I go down memory lane with an accomplished musician and teacher. My next guest and I have something in common: We both love playing guitar and we both spent time working in Taiwan. He recently came back from Taiwan so I was eager to talk to him about his journey abroad.Here are some subjects discussed:Challenges of Working Abroad A Canadian's perspective on learning Chinese Pollution in TaiwanReverse culture shock is realBeing a musician in a foreign country Living with S.A.R.S. (10% death rate)Taiwan VS Covid-19Mask wearing situation

  • No Mask Required - Featuring Belinda Roche

    06/05/2020 Duration: 01h23min

    A lovely conversation with Belinda Roche. High school teacher, amazing salsa dancer and very very good friend.Dealing with IsolationSending Our Kids to School During CovidSalsa Dancing Post Covid-19Stigma of MasksSalsa dancing do's and don'ts

  • If You Can't Handle The Truth Don't Talk To Sonia Clarke

    22/04/2020 Duration: 01h35min

    Initiated to the universe of dance at age 4, Sonia graduated in Classical Dance at the Grands Ballets Canadiens in 1989. She is also certified in superior studies in the management of cultural projects, with a specialization in inner city youth outreach and intervention, obtained in Lyon (France) in 1994.We discussed her Grands Ballets Canadiens Training,  What kind of person becomes a pro dancer, the challenges of teaching online, the Impact of Covid-19 on the dance world, the problems of dance competitions and much more.  

  • Artists Will Save The Day - Featuring Adam Duff

    16/04/2020 Duration: 01h01min

    In the Salsa world, where i come from,  we get to met really amazing people… this is where Adam Duff comes in. Adam is a concept artist, graphic designer veteran salsa dancers and all around  amazing guy. He worked as art director for Electronic Arts and Disney.  We talked about... how he became a professional artist, why he started a Youtube channel, tips and tricks to be successful on that video platform, doing a Vlog with his daughter, the impact of Covid-19 on the arts and much more.

  • Main Event : Doctor VS Covid-19 featuring Martin Pham Dinh

    07/04/2020 Duration: 01h13min

    Martin Pham Dinh is a physician with 20 years of practice in emergency medicine  who now focuses on clinical communications and  the science of wellness and longevity. He also a fitness freak, passionate home cook and lover of life.We discussed his important role in the Covid-19 pandemic. 

  • Covid-19 VS Dance Schools ( Round 1 ) Featuring Christine Harrison

    02/04/2020 Duration: 01h08min

    A conversation with my good friend and dance school owner Christine Harrison in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis.Here's some topics discussed.1. The impact of the virus on dance schools2. The usage of Zoom for virtual classes and meetings3. Business strategies during lock down 4. The post Corona virus prognosis 

  • The Buzz vs COVID-19 - Featuring Stanley Bastien

    26/03/2020 Duration: 44min

    Welcome to the Baila Room Podcast…Before we begin, I want to state in which condition we’re doing this podcast:We are in Quebec, Canada, on the second week of the Covid19 outbreak and its lock down. Here’s an important Caveat before we start. We are no experts on Covid-19 or any related matter.    So anything we say about the virus situation during our podcast is from a businessmen standpoint. It’s a serious matter and change and rapidly changing. Needless to say you should always differ to experts and local authorities for current up to date information.Also, it’s my first remote podcast. I wanna to apologize ahead of time for any sound glitches.  It’s a learning curve ;)On this note, my next guest is the owner of BLS Buzz Limo Services a High end Limousine Service. He’s also a great dj, salsa dancer and Kompa Zouk music lover.  We talked about the impact of the Covid 19 on his business. Uber vs the taxi world and Komba Zouk music.  

  • Misdiagnosed - Featuring Ronald Mompoint

    28/02/2020 Duration: 01h42min

    A great conversation with an amazing dancer and friend: Ronald Mompoint. We talked about our shared passion of dance. We went back to the late 80s high school life. We talked about the current state of affairs of social media and politics and finally, he shared with me the traumatic story that happened to his father in our medical system.  

  • What does it take to be an artist? Featuring Audrey Gaussiran

    04/02/2020 Duration: 01h10min

    A great conversation with an amazing dancer, performer, choreographer and friend: Audrey Gaussiran.Here are the main topics discussed: 1. Things they don’t show on TV from the So you Think you can Dance show2. Drama in the dance world3. Traveling and working as a dancer around the world4. Dealing with hard criticism in the arts world5. Managing a dance career : Learning to say NO6. Juggling the artist mom roles7. How to be an out of the box artist 8. Gender roles in the Salsa world 9. How to deal with doubt

  • The Best Colombian Salsa Dancer in Montreal ;) Featuring Wendy Hernandez-Zamora

    15/01/2020 Duration: 01h42min

    I sat down with my good friend Wendy to talk about some interesting topics. Here are some of them: 1. The Salsa dancing scene in Montreal2. The Zumba business model 3. How Social media is changing us 4. Her bouts with Anxiety ...much more

  • Forget about doing the robot, you could be dancing with one soon - Featuring Mehdi Serrar

    18/12/2019 Duration: 02h03min

    An awesome discussion with Salsa colleague Mehdi Serrar about the evolution of Salsa Congresses. New tech and business ideas to expand the dance offering and reach. The Virtual Salsa congress concept.  The scary outcome possibilities of artificial intelligence, Tesla talk and much more...

  • Your level of tolerance will dictate how people treat you - Featuring Luciano Ucci

    25/11/2019 Duration: 01h53min

    I sit down with Luciano Ucci, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with over 15 years of training under his belt. Passionate and dedicated to the sport and known for his technical knowledge, Professor Luciano quickly established himself as a top trainer and corner men of several public figures in the world of professional mixed martial arts. Over the years, his passion influenced many other students of his who now lead their own schools under the prestigious banner Team ONE jujitsu Canada. Here are some topics of our discussion:What does it take to be a good leaderTeaching stylesHow do you handle difficult studentsReal bullying solutionsYoutube era of learningAnd much more...

  • There's 2 captains on this ship - Featuring Corinne Tardieu & Victor Alexis

    05/11/2019 Duration: 53min

    They reveal  what it takes to be a performer in the Salsa/Bachata world.  How they prepare for competition. What is their creation process like.They go into the business side of being a performer/teacher and much much more..

  • From Waldo to Walter Featuring Walter Rivera

    22/10/2019 Duration: 01h13min

    In this podcast Ilias Benz speaks with Walter Rivera about his life as a dancer, performer, singer and choreographer.  Here are some topics discussed. The business of being in a boys band. The history of Salsa. Life in New York. 

  • When You Know Better You Do Better ! With Christine Harrison

    09/10/2019 Duration: 51min

    Ilias Benz talks to Christine Harrison owner of H4L dance school about the business side of the dance world and her evolution in it.Here are some topics discussed: How she started her dance school... the good and not so good momentsWhat are some common myths about the dance profession or field that need to be debunkedThings to look for when a parent chooses a dance school for their child The contribution of all the dance TV showsAnd much more...

  • A Leader Made in Taiwan

    11/09/2019 Duration: 46min

    I discovered Salsa when a friend of mine brought me to a club. I was very anxious but right away, I fell in love with the music, the rhythms and this dance. Following that evening, I started taking salsa lessons. It was a revelation for me. The love that I felt and still feel for this Latin dance made me stand out. Quickly, I joined a dance troupe in Montreal and started to teach. At a steady pace, I refined my teaching and dancing techniques.After a couple of years, I graduated in Psycho-education and left Montreal to go to Asia. I spent 2 years exploring this continent that haunted my childhood imagination. During my trip, I founded the Baila Productions Dance Studio in Taiwan. After a few months, more than a hundred students were attending classes... I have to say that they are many people living in Taiwan! Nonetheless, I was very surprised by the Taiwanese interest for Salsa. At the beginning, it was fairly tricky to communicate because of language and cultural barriers but the dance itself helped bridge

  • Burned Out

    16/08/2019 Duration: 01h05min

    Ilias is a Salsa black belt, owner of Baila Productions Salsa school, musician and entrepreneur.  With his trusted sidekick Belinda they discuss the intimacies of Latin dance connection, the effect of an elitist attitude towards the arts and telltale signs of the infamous burn out.

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